February 5th, 2007

Tea-drinker par excellence

Going nowhere

I sat on a train to Leeds for over an hour this morning but we didn't get out of Kings Cross so I'm back in the office instead of attending the Programme Protection Steering Group meeting which overseas, from the analysts viewpoint, progress on FRAIMS (Fraud Referral and Investigation Management System). This is a new IT system which will manage fraud referrals, publish MI and dump data to a warehouse for analytical use. We're involved, as analysts, because we're not sure to what extent FRAIMS will manage to do any of these things correctly. But I couldn't possibly comment on progress or cost, you can read Hansard or use FOI if you want to know more.

On the other hand, I did get to read half of Louis Theroux's Call of the Weird which is as entertaining as his TV programmes. Did anyone see his piece on gambling over the weekend? Those people were seriously messed up and I guess that's what awaits Manchester when it gets its supercasino.

I love you

My half-sister Milly is 3 1/2. She is probably the cutest thing on the planet and is possibly aware of her power. She has curly hair, a heart-shaped face, enormous eyes and when not dancing in the style of her favourite R&B bands - she's a far better dancer than I ever could be, she has a tendancy of running up to and launching herself at people, opening her eyes to their widest extent and exclaiming "I wuv you" with all the sincerity she can muster. When you've got used to this, and learned to turn so you don't get headbutted in the nads, you notice that she only does this to people who do stuff for her. Milly never once tried the IWY trick on Paula who is less happy around children and didn't really do anything for Milly. Paula doesn't mind my Dad's new family and actually likes simonjrogers', possibly because they don't try to climb all over her, and because she knows them a bit better.

So after having read several Angelina Ballerina stories, during which Milly is very attentive and quiet, or played "this is the way the farmer rides" - the fell of his horse variant, I started to wonder whether the IWY was a genuine expression of innocent sentiment, some reward for having entertained Milly, or perhaps an enticement to entertain her. The fact that Milly never did this to Paula, or anyone else whilst I was there, suggests one of the latter, although she might be aware of Paula's need for personal space, or at least her less welcoming attitude.

I'm not suggesting that Milly is mercenary, I'm not sure she's that aware, but she has learned positive reinforcement and that's probably a good thing.
Tea-drinker par excellence

Primeval - will it be pants?

ITV's Dr Who/X-files/Torchwood competitor starts next week. Let's hope it's better than the latter.

I had tried to link to the trailer but it just seemed to mess up my LJ.

Not an auspicious start. The above is what their website's trailer LJ code produces.

Library Thing

I've done some scanning of books using my CueCat. I did everything by my bed and 6 billy shelves worth of books (double rows). I started by inputting directly into LibraryThing which worked fine - after I realised that I needed Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr in my search lists.

However our wifi is not very well so I went offline and stored things in a text file instead. I added a beep to the scanner and merrily beeped away for a while. At the end of this I'd scanned over 300 books which I uploaded to LibraryThing. It thought about them for a bit, it cues batches so as not to overload Amazon with search requests, but after less than a day it had uploaded them all here. It even worked for maps.

A few books wouldn't scan easily and I found that lifting the scanner away once I'd run it across the barcode helped. In the end I think about 6 or so books wouldn't scan at all, something to do with the background colour on the back page I suspect. I had to manually added them to the list. A few books don't have barcodes but they do have ISBNs or equivalent and I typed these in too. I've got a few doubles because I added some books by looking at other peoples libraries as well but there's a tool that finds these so they're easy to sort out.

Still, it fairly rocks and I expect I'll do some more soon, even the pile in the attic. I also plan to add some more tags now that I've worked out that it can be done to groups of books with another online tool.

You can join for free but are limited to 200 books per year so I went the whole hog and paid $25 for a lifetime membership. I imagine this means theirs rather than mine, but you can easily download your file anyway. $45 for the tools to catalogue all my books seems pretty fair, and there's even a link for mobile phone database access.